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Weak wrought iron-rivets led to 1500 as Titanic sank ?

world Updated: Nov 02, 2008 20:07 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times
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The mystery of the sinking of the unsinkable Titanic on April 14, 1912, was thought to having been resolved. But now a new theory has surfaced. Why Titanic sank two hours before help arrived was because its bow and stern were bolted together with weak wrought-iron rivets. This is revealed by a new documentary. More than 1,500 passengers and crew lost their lives after the liner hit an iceberg during its maiden voyage

Earlier investigations showed that first nine warnings of iceberg in its course were taken lightly. The course could have been rerouted. And then a tactical mistake was made in trying to avoid the iceberg, noticed just a couple of minutes earlier, instead of trying to hit it directly and break the iceberg.

Although the bow would have been damaged, the steamer would probably not have sunk. The officers did no have, it seems, enough experience in dealing with icebergs. The lookout did not even have a pair of binoculars – these had already been misplaced in Southampton.

Now the new finding has brought out 16 different factors which contributed to the biggest peacetime maritime disaster in history. The documentary "The Unsinkable Titanic", on Channel 4 claims specifically that the liner could have stayed afloat until the rescue ship Carpathia arrived if it had been constructed with steel rivets. Instead of "best best" quality, builders at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast selected only "best" wrought-iron quality.

Metallurgist Jennifer Hooper McCarty told the Sunday Express, "The implications are astounding. Lives would have been saved but for their choice on a very small, but critical detail."

But Harland and Wolff, ship builders, said there was "absolutely nothing wrong with the Titanic's construction or materials used".